School Program Lets Students Earn P.E. Credits By Helping People With Yard Work


Many kids hate gym classes, so the school has given them another option. In Iowa, students receive a Physical Education credit for helping others with garden maintenance. Students can exercise while helping the elderly and the disabled with their gardens and even chicken coops. This approach was proposed by Tim Hitzler, a social studies teacher at the Alternative Learning Center in Dubuque. Students agree to work for the last two weeks of the school year.

Through their exercise education, students help people with yard work.

According to Mike Cyze, a spokesman for Dubuque Community School District, students are more likely to get their PE loans. Some students chose to clean the river boat and golf course while Hitzler oversaw the yard work.

She started the program in 2015, and students spent the past two weeks of semester working outside for two hours a day.

“Students, including me, go out and help. It depends on what they need, whether it’s picking leaves, pulling weeds, cutting grass, or cleaning ditches, ”said Hitzler. “At first, the students were not very enthusiastic, but as they got involved and started doing yard work, they became very active. They enjoy giving back and meeting new people. ”

In 2019, 29 students from the Alternative Learning Center enrolled in the program, 12 of whom opted to help people with yard work. Students not only help others and also get exercise, but also become part of the community. Many of her coworkers invited her to dinner and cooking. Some of the children who took part in the project wanted to continue working in the yard all summer.

“I’ve had students come back to help after graduation,” Hitzler said. “There is something satisfying about helping those in real need.”

“Such a Simple View”

A Non-Learning Center designed for children at risk of dropping out of high school.

“A different education in Iowa is a concept, not a method or a system. According to the Iowa Department of Education website, “it is based on the idea that there are many ways to learn, as well as the kinds of places and buildings in which this can happen.”

In this episode, Hitzler uses his truck, along with some of his yard tools. He was amazed at how many people responded to this simple and beautiful PE option when his proposal received notice in the media.

In 2019, he noted, “Attention to this has been overwhelming.” “I believe it’s because of the fact that it’s a basic concept.”

Garden Work Health Benefits

In addition to helping others, field work has its benefits for younger students.

Vitamin D is one of these benefits. Working in the sun for 30 minutes can provide anywhere from 8,000 to 50,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D (depending on how exposed skin and skin color are, of course). One of the many benefits of vitamin D is that it helps build human bones and the immune system.

Gardening is also a chore, which means it can help you maintain a healthy weight, sleep better, and gain energy. Then there are psychological benefits. Courtyard work can enhance a person’s happiness and self-esteem while at the same time reducing anxiety and symptoms of depression.

Farming, not surprisingly, can build community and communication, especially in shared areas. Or, in this example, it strengthens the bonds between the children and those who help them with yard care. This type of relationship has the potential to enhance a person’s sense of well-being.

During this epidemic, sunlight and exercise are very difficult to obtain. However, anyone can reap the benefits of farming while maintaining a community distance. Even if you do not have a yard, you can grow plants and eat pots in the porch or porch.


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